Chace and her dad in 1996PHOTO COURTESY OF CHACE BEECH

But unlike those who just moved home to wait out COVID-19, I’ve been home for the last two years. I’m taking care of my dad, who has brain cancer. Despite the trappings of childhood around me, the roles in my house are reversed. And it’s strange, but the pandemic has offered me something unexpected. As it’s unfolded, as people my age have fled home, anxious about their own parents’ health—I have often felt less alone than I have in a very long time.

I knew my childhood was over when I got the call from my mom two years ago. “Daddy is in the ICU,” she said. “He has a brain tumor.”

Youth, unbridled freedom, a life without deep anxiety: When I hung up the phone I thought, “All that is over.” And it was.

For the next few months, as I visited hospitals and rehab centers with my dad, my New York life dissolved piecemeal. I went back to pack up my apartment.

My leave of absence from work turned into a resignation. My boyfriend and I broke up after six years, over the phone. At that point, my heart was already so fractured that I barely felt anything. I hung up, cried, and drove to pick up my dad from his weekly physical therapy appointment.

Read more in Bon Appetit.

This is an external article from our library

Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection.

Have a great story about care work? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

The Ultimate Guide to Purée

The Ultimate Guide to Purée

We ate a mostly pureed diet for almost two years. Yes, I said we, because I ate what Grandma ate. I never wanted her to feel different. Also, it was...

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.